Safety Tips to Avoid Electrocution Accidents

In small doses, electric shocks do not cause injury; curious minds might even find them intriguing. If a car door gives you a mild electrical shock when you go to close it, it does not hurt very much. Electricity is also the reason that the Van de Graaff generator is one of the most popular exhibits at any children’s science museum. In higher amounts, though, electric shocks can cause serious injury or even be fatal. When electrocution accidents are caused by dangerous conditions in workplaces and other public places, the property owner may be legally liable for causing the accident. In fact, many electrocution accidents can be avoided if workers and employers exercise proper caution and follow safety protocols.

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Electrical Hazards at Work

In the United States, about 4,000 people suffer injuries because of electrical hazards in the workplace each year. About 300 people per year die from electrocution accidents at work.

Electric shocks are not the only type of accident that can result from electrical hazards in the workplace. They can also cause fires and explosions.

Electrical Accidents are Preventable

Many electrical accidents can be prevented if employers make efforts to keep electrical equipment safe and high voltage areas isolated and if workers are careful with electricity. Here are some ways to avoid electrical accidents:

  • Workplaces should display signs warning workers and visitors of electrical hazards.
  • Hurrying is a major cause of workplace electrocution accidents. Workers should not rush to finish their work quickly when working with electricity. Likewise, employers should not put time pressure on workers when they are working in the presence of electrical hazards.
  • Proper safety training is key when there are electrical hazards in the workplace. In some occupations that require working with dangerous levels of electricity, knowledge of electricity safety protocols is part of the requirements for certification. Even for workers who are knowledgeable about electrical hazard safety, and especially for those who have not gone through a certification process that requires safety standards but who may be working in hazardous areas, ongoing training about electrical hazards and proper safety measures is key.
  • Anyone who might be exposed to high levels of electricity, whether a worker or a visitor, should wear proper protective gear.
  • Turn off all electrical equipment before a person touches it, for example, to clean it. If possible, you should wait a few minutes after turning it off and before touching it.
  • Because aluminum is a conductor or electricity, you should not use aluminum ladders near electrical wires or electrical equipment. Instead, use a fiberglass ladder, since fiberglass is an insulator.
  • If you will be using electrical equipment, make sure that the area is dry. Do not use electrical equipment near water, since water can conduct electricity.

Contact Case Barnett About Electrocution Accidents

If you have been injured in an accident involving electrical hazards, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Contact Case Barnett in Costa Mesa, California for a consultation about your case.

Treatments for Spinal Cord Injuries are Promising but Expensive

In 1995, Christopher Reeve, the actor who had played Superman in several movies, was injured in a horseback riding accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. The world was shocked to see the once-athletic Reeve confined to a wheelchair, but he made many public appearances after his catastrophic spinal cord injury. He spent the rest of his life raising awareness about the need for research for new treatments for spinal cord injuries, and after his death in 2004, his widow Dana continued her husband’s campaign. Spinal cord injuries are devastating; even a celebrity as wealthy as Reeve could not pay to restore his ability to walk.  Research on the treatment of spinal cord injury is ongoing, however, and in the last few years, medical scientists have been at work on developing promising new treatments to repair damaged nerve tissue and to find other means to restore the function of the limbs of people with spinal cord injuries. Currently, though, as with many complex medical problems, the most effective treatments are beyond the financial means of most people.

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New Horizons in Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Research

Currently, no treatments exist that can restore people with severe spinal cord injuries to their former state of health before the injury. Many treatments exist, though, and research continues to find a cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. Here are some of the most promising current research trends.

  • Neuroregeneration: Most of the cells in the body, including the axons (an appendage of nerve cells) of the peripheral nervous system, can regenerate themselves, but the axons of the brain and spinal cord cannot. Research aims to treat the injured spinal cord with antibodies that target myelin, a coating on the axons of the spinal cord that prevents the axons from regenerating. The goal is to enable the spinal cord to repair itself, restoring sensation and voluntary movement.
  • Stem cell transplants: Stem cells can differentiate to become cells of the various tissues of the body. Research aims to transplant stem cells to the spinal cord and enable them to regenerate functional spinal cord tissue.  Embryonic stem cells show promise in this regard, but because of the ethical concerns surrounding their use, researchers are also experimenting with transplants of stem cells that are present in adults, such as neural stem cells (which become nerve cells), mesenchymal stem cells (which naturally differentiate into bone, muscle, and fat) and induced pluripotent stem cells (adult stem cells that have been altered so that they can function like embryonic stem cells, which can differentiate into virtually any type of cell).
  • Medical devices: While not actually repairing the spinal cord, devices such as exoskeletons and brain-computer interfaces may help people with spinal cord injuries regain the use of their limbs.

Contact Case Barnett About Spinal Cord Injury Cases

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, being able to pay for treatment can save your life or vastly improve its quality. Contact Case Barnett in Costa Mesa, California to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.